Politics & Policy

Crist and Meek Pump Up Spanish Material, Rubio Goes Direct

The Kendrick Meek campaign is touting the launch of its entire website in Spanish. Charlie Crist, too, has begun posting Spanish content, and spokesman Danny Kanner said the campaign will be launching a Hispanic website “in the near future.”

There’s sense in courting voters using the language they find most comfortable. Florida is a diverse state with a large Hispanic population — approximately 14 percent of eligible voters in the 2008 election.

It seems odd, though, that the only Florida Senate candidate not actively pushing Spanish material online is the one candidate who speaks the language as fluently as English: Marco Rubio.

Rubio speaks Spanish to supporters and the press frequently while campaigning in the Miami area. Nearly two-and-a-half minutes of his GOP nomination acceptance speech was delivered as such.

But when the campaign uploaded the official version of the video to YouTube, all Spanish remarks were cut. Neither does Rubio have a Spanish-language website.

Rubio staffers insist that it has nothing to do with perception of Spanish in the wider GOP base and everything to do with efficient allocation of capital.

“I think it was a question of resources and things of that nature,” Rubio spokesman Alex Burgos told Battle ‘10 of the decision not to build a Spanish website, “and really the fact that unlike most candidates, Marco has the ability to communicate directly with his voters who acquire their news in Spanish.”

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